Shoe Repairer

Job Description:

Shoe repairers mend footwear and items like belts and bags.

Job Category:
Professional Services

What you will do:

As a shoe repairer you could:

  • Greet customers and price up work to be done
  • Replace worn out soles and heels
  • Carry out more complicated repairs, like renew stitching and welts
  • Build up soles and heels
  • Clean, polish, dye or stain shoes
  • Replace buckles, laces, zips or straps
  • Maintain equipment, sharpen cutting tools and service machinery
  • Sell items and take cash and card payments


You’ll need:

  • to know how to repair footwear, belts and bags
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

As well as:

  • Customer service skills
  • The ability to work well with your hands
  • To be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • The ability to use your initiative
  • Persistence and determination
  • Ambition and a desire to succeed
  • The ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
  • The ability to come up with new ways of doing things (creativity)
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

School Subjects

Becoming a shoe repairer typically does not require specific GCSE subjects, but having a basic foundation in certain subjects can be beneficial for developing the skills needed for this profession, such as:

  1. Design and Technology (D&T): This subject can provide you with practical skills in working with materials, tools, and machinery. D&T coursework may involve projects related to working with textiles, woodworking, and mechanics, which can be useful in shoe repair.
  2. Mathematics: Basic math skills are important for measurements, calculations, and ensuring accurate repairs.
  3. Business Studies or Economics: If you plan to operate your own shoe repair business, a basic understanding of business concepts, budgeting, and customer service can be helpful.
  4. Art and Design: Developing an eye for detail, aesthetics, and craftsmanship is important in repairing and restoring footwear.
  5. ICT (Information and Communication Technology): Proficiency in using computers and digital tools can aid in managing orders, tracking inventory, and marketing your services.
  6. Textiles or Sewing: Familiarity with sewing techniques and working with fabrics can be beneficial, especially when dealing with repairing shoe linings or other textile components.
  7. Work Experience/Vocational Training: While not a GCSE subject, gaining hands-on experience through part-time jobs, internships, or vocational training in a shoe repair shop can be invaluable in developing practical skills.

It’s important to note that becoming a skilled shoe repairer often involves on-the-job training, apprenticeships, or specialized courses that focus on the specific techniques and tools used in shoe repair. This practical training is essential for mastering the craft and becoming proficient in various repair techniques, such as sole replacement, heel repair, stitching, and leather restoration.

You can get this job through:

  • Applying directly for a job as a trainee with a shoe repair company.
  • Some employers may give you a short assessment to test your English, basic maths and practical skills. Most will expect you to have the potential to develop excellent customer service skills.
  • You’ll learn mostly on-the-job. Some employers have their own training centres where you may also spend some time.

Working Hours and Environment:

A typical week consists of 39-45 hours of work. You could be required to work weekends.

You could work at a store.

Your working environment may be noisy and dusty.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience you could:

  • Learn additional skills like engraving, watch repair and key cutting, as some shoe repairers also offer these services.
  • Be able to work your way up to a supervisor or manager position with the shoe repair company.
  • Become self-employed and open your own shoe repair business.
  • Use your customer service skills in other retail roles or put your practical skills to use in other types of repair or craft work.